Its often useful to start an Impala cluster when only metadata is present, for example, HMS data and HDFS fsimage. In particular, this is useful when debugging metadata-related issues.
However, catalogd requires FS operations that depend on data blocks, not just metadata. Examples include Avro schema files and function jars that which are stored on the FS. When these cases come up in large instances, a substantial amount of time is spent trying/failing/throwing an exception. To skip this, we can add a flag that suppresses these operations. The flag will be hidden-- its only use is for reproducing metadata-related issues/development.